Arthur Checkley was born in England in 1874.
He studied at the Birmingham School of Art, and after emigrating in 1913 become a well-known artist in eastern and central Canada. He seems to have arrived in the west about 1928. The following year he mounted a solo exhibition in Victoria, and as the art critic of Victoria's "Daily Times" noted: "His work is not photographic, it being more truthful in that it conveys the feeling of nature more than it emphasizes the absolute dimensions of nature".
He became a significant member of the Vancouver Island Arts and Crafts Society and exhibited frequently in the Society's annual exhibitions between 1928 and 1940.He was for several years organizer of the art component of the annual Willows Fair in Oak Bay, Victoria,acting as the Society’s convener, and in this capacity he gave Emily Carr a whole section to herself in 1934, the last year that Carr exhibited at the Fair.
Arthur Checkley is remembered not only as a notable artist, but as an art educator and organizer. His work currently features in the collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the BC Royal Museum Archives and the Maltwood Gallery at the University of Victoria.